BBQ Bambi - Venison Backstrap Mishap!
This was my second time smoking a venison backstrap, but it didn’t go quite as well. Although it still had decent results.
Day 1 Prep:
I started on 8/3/15 in the evening by rinsing a 3 lb cut from a venison backstrap and patting it dry with paper towels. This was 100% fat free and had as much silver skin removed as possible. I then applied yellow mustard and a rub mix. Into a zip-lock and into the fridge for 24 hours.
Day 2 Smoking:
I set up my electric ECB and filled the water pan. Then I filled a chip box with hickory that had been soaking for about 24 hours. With the chip box sitting directly on the electric element and everything warmed up I probed the backstrap with my remote Maverick digital meat thermometer and put it on the top grate. (I forgot to take a picture or note the time)
I then went to work in the garage while it smoked.
9:54PM------------Internal Temp (IT) was getting close to 145° so I stopped working in the garage and washed up quick and got things ready.
****Things Started Getting Weird****
9:57PM------------IT alarm goes off at 145° but then drops to high 130’s and then spikes to low 150’s. I reset the alarm for an IT of 155° and walk away. I don’t get 15 feet away and the alarm is going off again for 155°. I watch the temp swing from a low of about 140° to a high of about 175°. I think it somehow might be affected by the heating element kicking on and off so I unplug my ECB. It keeps swings but the range gets hotter and hotter.
10:07PM-----------IT is all over the place so I pull the backstrap and take it inside. The outside looks very dry and the IT is now holding at 157°. I am concerned it is going to be very dry since venison is sort of like lean pork loin, it doesn’t take much to dry it out and make it tough.
10:09PM-----------IT is dropping again and swinging everywhere. I decide to foil the backstrap to let it coast up to make sure it is done.
10:10PM-----------IT 179°. I am so confused I just walk away thinking this is going to be ruined.
10:47PM-----------Ignoring the IT at this point. I have decided my meat thermometer is broken. I unwrap the backstrap and start slicing it up. WOW! It looks almost perfect! It is so moist and juicy! I eat one of the first slices and it is Awesome! So I keep slicing. It gets bloodier and bloodier as I go along. Now I am thinking there is no way it even reached an IT of 145° and I might have just eaten under cooked venison. I have no idea what to do at this point.
11:09PM-----------I say screw it. Throw it all in the crock pot and cover in BBQ sauce. Pains me so much to do that to such delicious smoked backstrap, but I am concerned about the safety of eating it for my wife who is nursing our first child. The last thing I need is either one of them getting sick. I set it on low and go to bed.
*Random time in the early morning when the baby wakes up* I think it has been about 4-5 hours later. The whole house smells like glorious BBQ Bambi!!! After taking care of the little man I go check on the Q. When I pull the lid off it smells slightly like it is overcooked and the BBQ sauce might have burnt a smidge. Now I am pained again at the thought of messing the meat up a different way. I grab a fork to check it out and…..it all falls apart and I can’t even stab it to pick it up it’s so tender! I basically just stirred the whole thing and it all pulled itself. I take it all out and put it away in the fridge to stop it from cooking anymore and go back to bed.
Day 3 Eating:
We reheated this for supper and I was worried my wife wasn’t going to like it. She isn’t a big fan of smoked meats, and she really isn’t a big fan of deer meat. I can tell it’s not pulled beef, and it tastes slightly overcooked to me. She says it’s really good and that she can’t tell it’s even deer. SUCCESS!!! As long as she is happy I can count this as a decent smoke.
Questions about my meat thermometer:
I had received this Maverick Remote Thermometer as a gift from my dad when I was smoking my first backstrap not that long ago. He bought it brand new from Home Depot and it was working fine for that first one. I didn’t know about the boil test at this point in time so I just stuck it under my tongue to test it when I was frustrated with the whole thing. It read a perfect 98.6° I give up! This was only the second time I used it and it was all over the place then right on. Before my next smoke, pulled pork, I replaced all the batteries and it worked flawlessly. Any ideas as to why bad batteries made the IT swing all over the place and be so off?!
Some pics below of the latter part of the process
Tried to show the TBS but the lighting is too poor
Again the lighting is too poor.
Taking it off because temp is all over the place.
Looks very dry.
Holding for a little bit, overcooked?
Temp dropped so I foiled to try to get it to rise some.
It rose alright. Way overcooked!!!
Just kidding! Haha.....it might be under cooked
Frustration has set in, so it's into the crock pot on low.
Covered in BBQ sauce.
Surprising results and a pretty tasty lunch!
Mmm that looks good.
Just had to put one more up.
Thanks for looking!
My first smoke that I kept good records on!
Edited by 4PoGo7 - 10/15/15 at 11:29am